This book was published to commemorate the centenary of the Montefiore Synagogue and College at Ramsgate. It has two sections:
From the dedication of the Synagogue to the death of Sir Moses Montefiore, by Rev. D. A. Jessurun Cardozo, Hazan of the Synagogue.
The Montefiore Endowment 1885-1933 by Paul Goodman.
Moses Montefiore and his wife Judith first visited Ramsgate on their honeymoon in 1812. Ramsgate was then a favourite sea-side resort, and fashionable folk flocked to its shore. About half a mile from Ramsgate stood East Cliff Lodge on 24 acres of land. It was purchased by Mr. Montefiore in 1831, although he had previously rented the property.
The synagogue was built in a hamlet called Hereson, between East Cliff Lodge and the town. It was designed by Mr. Montefiore’s cousin, David Mocatta. It was completed in 1833, and dedicated on the anniversary of the Montefiores wedding day.
The book has useful and interesting information about the Ministers of the Ramsgate Synagogue. The first two were brothers, Isaac Henry Myers and Emanuel Myers. They were born in London and educated chiefly by their father, who was known as ‘Rabbi Chenoch’ and who died in 1844. The family came from Hamburg.
Isaac Henry Myers (1811-77) served for forty-four years as Minister of the Synagogue, and is often referred ro as the Chaplain of Sir Moses Montefiore. He is mentioned in 1842 as Secretary and Registrar of Marriages. He also officiated at weddings at Canterbury, of which congregation he was an honorary member. He also established a small boarding school at Ramsgate. In 1845, together with another brother, Rev. M. H. Myers, he published a booklet “Twelve hundred questions and answers on the Bible”. Isaac Myers died on the 22nd June, 1877.
His brother Rev. Emanuel Myers assisted in the reading at the Synagogue. He acted as Shochet from 1833 and also established a school, the ‘Temple Cottage Academy’, later called the Hereson House Academy. He died on 20th January 1885, and was succeeded by the Rev. Herman Shandel.
The book has interesting information about the early Jewish inhabitants of Ramsgate, who made up the membership of the congregation.
The second part of the book is about the period after Sir Moses Montefiore’s death, about the Endowment and about the College at Ramsgate.
I have written separately about a later Minister at Ramsgate, the Reverend George Belasco here.